Progressivism, leftism, liberalism, or whatever you may call it has a veritable uniqueness to how it impinges upon particle goods or truths. Leftism is the ideological embodiment of cancer. Like cancer, which is a disordered mutation of a cell, leftism is the disordering of, among many things, goodness or virtue. Betwixt the things it disorders lies altruism. This, also known as charity, is a virtue. Not only did our Lord God teach charity,
One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed. – Proverbs 19:17
but it was also understood by the virtues pagans such as the Stoics.
Every mans life is sufficient. But thine is nearly finished, though thy soul reverences not itself, but places thy felicity in the souls of others. -Marcus Aurelius
To be altruistic and charitable, when done within the parameters of prudence is indeed a noble virtue to hold. However, like any virtue it must be properly ordered and contained within a framework, lest it be corrupted into something less then desirable.
This is precisely what leftism has done to such a virtue. It not only removes the prudential judgment required to maintain altruistic acts, but also removes the moral guidance containing it. It degrades into a holiness spiral of virtue signaling and a vicious propagation of so called “rights”. As far as imprudence goes, altruism becomes degraded once sound judgment is removed. Let us put this into a real life example.
A homeless man stands at the street corner. You could,
A. Give him money in the form of cash.
B. Buy him a meal or give him a jacket.
The latter example, option B, would be the prudent decision. The first option is imprudent because money, although containing the possibility of helping him, runs a very high risk of being spent unwisely by the homeless man. While the latter option is prudent because it addresses his immediate needs.
Imprudent decisions however, are not exclusive to leftists. What is exclusive to leftism is the moral derailment of altruism. We see this in moments such as “gay rights” or “feminism”. Due to the loose moral parameters of liberalism it has characterized such movements as being altruistic or charitable. “We must selflessly fight for these peoples “rights”. Between the imprudent judgments and the destruction of the moral order it creates what we see today. To further top this all off, leftists seem to do things not out of a true sense of altruism, that being out of selflessness, but out of a desire to signal their statues of “virtue”. It becomes nothing more then a charade.
The truly noble exercise altruistic deeds with prudence and a true desire to help another, without expecting a reward or recognition. Those who are charitable with sound morals and good judgement, never speak of it. Selflessness requires one to be selfless, which includes the negation of an earthly reward. In a room full of people, the one that speaks the loudest of his altruistic acts, is most certainly doing it for the wrong reasons. While the man you least expect may be the most charitable.
Note: I intend to do a little series on Progressive Corruption and to clear away the deformity that the left brings to particular goods. To once more restore these goods to the proper order they belong. A reactionary understanding of things, if you will.